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Old 04-30-2012, 05:27 PM
newteacher6 newteacher6 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 21
First year teacher here! I need help!

I am beginning to feel completely overwhelmed. I do not like the feeling of not having a "system" down yet. I am frustrated because I feel like my personality gets in the way of me feeling confidence and success. I realize I am not perfect yet; however, I rarely give myself a break. I need help being able to manage my time. How do you all do it? When do you grade papers? When do you plan lessons? If you teach middle school or high school how many plans a day to you need?

I am ashamed to say that I dont feel confident enough in correcting grammar yet. It is my weakness. I realize this can all be fixed once I have time to go over grammatical rules but I have no time to do anything. I am constantly saying "no" to my friends and family to spend time together because I am constantly doing work. Is this normal when you first begin? How do I gain confidence in my teaching and skills? I am drowning...I have no one to speak to but everyone here and truly appreciate it. I wish there were websites where I could practice grading papers and it can tell me how my grading was lol As funny as that sounds.

I look around at the teachers in my school and I know they do not stress over stuff like this but I maybe they should! I am exhausted all the time and hate the fact that teaching is not a secure job until I am tenured and who knows when that will be...

what are the circumstances of getting fired as a teacher before and after being tenured?
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:23 PM
creativemonster creativemonster is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 212
Keep breathing. It DOES get easier. Honest. Yes, it takes a lot of extra time and energy the first (several) years. And of course at any time depending on your school district, jobs are getting cut right and left. but really, what control do YOU have? Be as prepared as you can be for your students. They need you. It gets easier. Hang in there. take time out to get enough sleep, make sure you eat well, and take yourself to yoga or for a walk. oh yes, and dance to crazy crazy music. Trust that you really do know a lot more than your students. and they can learn a lot from you. And you can learn a lot from them. notice the joy in your day. It DOES get easier. It really really does.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:36 AM
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mopar mopar is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 10,977
Kindergarten Teacher
It is normal to spend quite a bit of time grading, planning, etc. I teach sixth grade and I plan for 4+ classes a day. It can get overwhelming. What has really helped me is to plan out what you will get done each day of the week. Look at your tasks that you need to do and type them up in a column for each day of the week. Then when other things come up, you can add them in pencil each week. Just print off a new copy each Monday.

As far as grammar, are you correcting student papers or concerned with your own grammar?
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:57 AM
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TeachOn TeachOn is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 808
New England
High School English and Philosophy
Get an old Warriner's grammar book and go to it. It's a "just the facts ma'am" old warhorse that lays it all out for you.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:47 AM
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engineerkyle engineerkyle is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 182
Detroit MI USA
AND musician...
Teaching, like any professional position, takes at least 2 years to "get under your belt"

I would not be discouraged about not knowing the system yet.... it will all seem so clear in another year or two.

My two cents
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:15 PM
newteacher6 newteacher6 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 21
Thank you for your help. So you all felt this way when you first started? I am assuming that if I am not familiar with history or certain topics...I can always LEARN. Right? I hope the school I am in understands that I will get better...I think I am good for my first couple months. I have come to realize that teachers (some teachers) can be very judgemental. They put other teachers down by their classroom management skills and teaching skills; however, I cant help but wonder how they were when they first began?

Are there any good books on how to gain confidence in yourself as an educator? I need a good pep talk! I do not want to feel this way everyday. I feel like there is an elephant sitting on my chest every single day. I never think I am good enough even though professional mentors have told me otherwise...eh
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:29 PM
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mopar mopar is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 10,977
Kindergarten Teacher
Try keeping a journal just to write down reflections on how you think you can improve. Writing helps me to feel more confident in decisions that I have to make.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:30 PM
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ciounoi ciounoi is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 593
Every job is difficult and stressful, but I think the job of a new teacher is particularly difficult... you have so many people depending on you for instruction.

My suggestion is to try to make small changes. Learn a little bit every day. Work towards having that system. Read books, blogs, and Pinterest (personally, my favorite). :-) Forums are great too! With time, you'll shine, but right now, just concentrate on finding small solutions every day.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:57 PM
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Aliceacc Aliceacc is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 26,837
Math teacher
If I remember, you started VERY late in the school year, didn't you??

That's just about the hardest thing to walk into-- a group of kids who see you as either an interloper of "not our real" teacher.

What do you teach? Let's see if the people here can help you a bit with your preparation.

Instead of a pep talk, here's my advice: play this one week at a time. Make SURE you know exactly what you're doing before you step foot into that classroom. "I'm new" isn't an excuse when it comes to not knowing your material... the fact that you'll get better next year doesn't help this year's kids. They deserve the very best teacher you can be. So let's see what we can do to help you do your job better-- THAT will help you get the confidence you need.

As you gain experience, the classroom management will get easier, as will the rest. But what you lack in experience, you can make up in preparation.

This week and weekend, block out what you're teaching each week from now until the end of school. (Yes, I realize I'm talking some serious time here planning.) Then become as close to an instant expert as you can on the material you'll expect the kids to know.

Repeat next weekend, though the long range planning will already be done, so it will require much less work.

I would let all the other stuff-- the books, the projects, all that-- slide while I got a handle on the content. Without you knowing that material, you can't possibly hope to teach it to the kids.

I teach math, so this is a total hunch, but why not take a look at this: http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Idiot.../dp/1592571158 to help you with grammar? I bet they're as concise and thorough there as they are in their other guides.

This summer, when you have the luxury of time, you can work out all the fun stuff, the supplements, the projects. For the next month or so, I would concentrate all my efforts on the material.

Best wishes!
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:48 PM
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applecore applecore is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 975
You've got some great advice here...I'll just add Hang in there. It's okay. You'll find your niche and way to organize to keep on top of everything.
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teacher, year

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